Just wanted to acknowledge you folks for the shout-out regarding my comments on the previous episode. While my perspective differs substantially from both John's and Kathan's on a number of fronts, I do appreciate the concession that ITS represents one particular manifestation to which a self-avowed "nihilism" can lead rather than exhausting its possibilities.
It is also worth underlining the fact that the central theme of my comment was not an effort to distance the nihilist tendency within contemporary anarchism from ITS activities, but to make the broader point that speaking of "nihilism" as a singular ideological tradition rather than a multitude of *historical conditions* is internally incoherent. While I have read Nechayev's "Catechism" and view it as a somewhat interesting historical documentation of nihilist thought at a particular time and place, the almost religious asceticism it espouses is sufficiently distasteful to me that I don't place much stock in it as an attempt at persuasion.
This is precisely why I haven't spent much time reading about the Russian "Nihilist Movement" of the 19th century and, instead, derive my understanding of nihilism largely from what I would describe, for lack of a better term, as more "philosophical" sources. It is not by accident that Nietzsche, who is often held up as the patron saint of nihilism, spoke of it as something to be "overcome" rather than either embraced or rejected as one would any other ideology. Again, what we are talking about here is a multitude of *historical conditions* that give rise to new modes of critique that were unavailable prior to the so-called "Death of God," not a singular ideological position to which one owes allegiance. I maintain that it is entirely possible to make use of these modes of critique without adopting "nihilist" as a self-conscious identity.
Finally, I'd like to add for the sake of clarity that I am not Aragorn! and do not purport to speak on his behalf - or anyone else's aside from my own. I reside outside the United States and am not currently active in the anarchist milieu in my area. Having said that, I remain interested in the ongoing debates of contemporary anarchist theory and, while I am profoundly critical of any and all ideological labels, my own thinking has been strongly influenced by the egoist, anti-civ, post-anarchist, and insurrectionary tendencies.